On-demand laundry service (pickups now in <30 minutes)

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AMA :)
@mrjmetz Ok, I'll bite. In the Bay Area, there are many entrants in this space. What was your inspiration to enter this space given the current competitive climate? I realize my question is rather open ended but I am genuinely curious. My other question is what are your plans to expand to other locations across the US? Best.
@mrjmetz jordan! great finally meeting the other week. What did you think of the new york magazine profile of you a bit ago? more broadly, as you've scaled, how have you thought about PR in the current media climate? What, if any, tradeoffs have you had to make? We just had @davidbyttow on the podcast, and he quoted Sam Biddle's advice to him: "Don't fucking say anything" the podcast: https://soundcloud.com/product-h...
@avelis I first started working on Washio in May 2012. No one was doing what we do. 2. Yes
@davidbyttow @eriktorenberg Hi Erik. I choose to do NY Mag, cause I love the writer and I knew she would tell my story. Of course, she does a good job covering many angles including our competitors. 2. PR is a very important piece of brand building as you and @Ryan know (and do so well.) 3. Tradeoffs include waiting and timing things right based on market cycles. I once got bumped off CNBC for a breaking political story.
@mrjmetz In this new "on-demand task" economy, the margins are razor thin. What are your plans to decrease costs or increase revenues as the business grows? (outside of simply getting more customers)
Hey @mrjmetz, Thanks for doing this AMA. I have a few questions. 1) How do you plan to differentiate yourself from other competitors? I know you guys have been posted on here before but it seems the only thing that's changed is your design. 2) Your app store description says pick-ups in 1 hour or less but the Product Hunt description says 30 minutes. Have you improved your pickup/delivery infrastructure to guarantee 30 minute pickups or was this a typo? I know FlyCleaners already had on-demand pickup. And YC-backed Cleanly already offered 45 minute guaranteed pick-ups. Is there a major difference between Washio and these competitors? 3) Where did you guys get inspiration for the new design? Did you guys do user-testing? (Looks beautiful by the way). As a recent transplant to the Bay Area, I'm excited to try you guys out.
@yuriyyarovoy 1. Convenience, quality and price. From the app experience to beautifully cleaned clothes. We have a lot to offer that others don't. 2. a.YES. depending on the time frame, its less than 30 or less than 1hr. b. yes, for both the consumer and how it actually works on the backend. 3. From the world around us. We love apps like Google Now, Tinder, Snapchat, Sunrise, and more. Big shoutout to @edprats for most of the design work. 4. Please try us :)
@mrjmetz thanks for answering questions! When I was in college, I ran a laundry service that connected students with a local wash + fold laundromat, so I've always been interested in how you guys have scaled. - Have you found that wash+fold laundromats in your markets have significant excess wash+fold capacity? I'd think this would be necessary to sell them on standardized pricing (ex: "You would otherwise be making nothing during this time. We'll fill your excess capacity at x price.") Does Washio lead to increased machine utilization? Our experience was that wash+fold had high utilization and not much excess capacity. Volume discounts were generally disappointing, because increasing wash+fold capacity required at least one additional hire, even where there was excess machine capacity to accommodate. - How many laundromats do you need to sign up per user to get the right liquidity and turnaround time? Do you find that there are peak loading problems? - How far away are we from a world where all of the unused washing machine capacity OUTSIDE of laundromats is rentable? :) - I'm outside of your markets, so forgive me if this is a dumb question, but do you provide the ability to rate laundry providers? If so, do you see wide variations in quality across a single market? - Is there still a trust barrier to overcome for people when it comes to handing their dirty clothes to a stranger? For our service, we heard questions often from customers (especially women, for obvious and justifiable reasons) about who would actually see and handle the laundry. Thanks, and feel free to ignore any or all of these questions!
@benokur so much here.... u can email me, my firstname at our website 1. na 2. much longer than u wish 3.na 4. always you can read more about washio and how it works on the internets'. That should answer some your questions i didnt quite get for u.
Great job guys! We happened to just do a write up about Washio yesterday: https://www.whttl.com/content/20...
This is cool. I worked on scoping and analysis of a similar web app in 2007 (laundromatic, on demand by ZIP code) only to see it shelved because it failed to get traction. Good to see the same concept doing well now!